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Build an isolated test lab for running software in containers.

Project description Documentation Status
Free software:

BSD license



In short, LabTest deploys branch foo onto a server that others can reach at This deployment is called an experiment.

Put another way, it is a framework to provision temporary isolated infrastructures based on configurations that can be stored in a public code repositories.

There are three parts to LabTest: the server architecture (or laboratory), the command line client, and the experiment configuration.

The laboratory. This is the server environment that you control. LabTest has some templates to help you get started, but ultimately the laboratory’s environment is under your control. All LabTest needs is SSH access and Docker.

The experiment configuration. The experiment configuration instructs LabTest how to publish the code experiments. It sits in the code repository so any developer who works on the code can publish new experiments.

The client. The client is a command line tool that uses SSH and the experiment configuration to create, list, update, and delete experiments in the laboratory.

What can you do with it?

Parallel development. One developer can complete three tickets, in three different branches, and publish the three experiments for review by three different people. As the tickets are completed, the branches can be merged and the experiments deleted in any order.

Quick evaluation of new ideas. Sometimes you just want to try something. LabTest makes it easy to demonstrate the idea.

Open evaluation to a greater audience. When the experiments are accessible from the internet, people don’t have to look over the developer’s shoulder to see the progress.

Provision one-time use apps. At its core, LabTest provisions isolated temporary infrastructure. You could use this to make it easy to set up and tear down an app for a one-time use.

Functional Principles

As we develop LabTest, these are things we keep in mind on how LabTest should work for teams.

Easy for developers to use. There are several parts to this. It should be require as few steps as possible to:

  • onboard a new developer

  • create, update, and delete experiments

  • convert a code base to use LabTest

Easy to administrate. LabTest only requires SSH access to the environment. Anything else you want to do is up to you.

Flexible. No two teams are alike. LabTest embraces this diversity by providing good defaults (for ease of use) with the ability to customize and extend (to make it your own).

Architecture Principles

Isolated Environment. Because this is a test environment, things will go wrong. You do not want an accident to harm another environment. This is also handy for security reasons. Since the developers will have SSH access to the test server, you want to limit the amount of damage a hacker could do if you are compromised.

Easily Rebuildable. If something goes wrong, make it easy to scrap everything and rebuild from scratch. While rebuilding the environment might be inconvenient, it is easier than debugging what changed in the developer playground.

Flexible Laboratory Administration. By default, LabTest is designed to require very little administration. LabTest does allow for flexible methods for administrators to define defaults and expand the capabilities. Laissez-faire or fascist: you can administrate your way.

Accessible by developers via SSH. The primary reason is that it is via SSH that the commands will communicate to set up each test instance. The other is that there are occasions when a developer having access to a production-like environment is advantageous. Being able to tweak things on the server is a quick and easy way to debug.


This package was initially created by Corey Oordt for the City of Boston using Cookiecutter and the lgiordani/cookiecutter-pypackage project template.

# Changelog

## 0.4.8 (2018-06-01)

### New

  • Adds the before_start_command configuration option. [Corey Oordt]

  • Added pytest-html for html reports. [Corey Oordt]

### Updates

  • Reorganized documentation around new homepage. [Corey Oordt]

  • Adding links to home page and fixed latex and other rendering. [Corey Oordt]

  • Added new branding fonts to the theme. [Corey Oordt]

## 0.4.7 (2018-05-31)

### New

  • Added ability to wait for the Docker MySQL service to start before continuing. [Corey Oordt]

### Updates

  • More documentation editing. [Corey Oordt]

  • Added a homepage to the docs. [Corey Oordt]

  • Rearranging documentation for better accessibility. [Corey Oordt]

## 0.4.6 (2018-05-30)

### Fix

  • Updated that test again. [Corey Oordt]

## 0.4.5 (2018-05-30)

### Fix

  • Tixed a test that was non-determinative. [Corey Oordt]

## 0.4.4 (2018-05-30)

### New

  • Changes the string $VIRTUAL_HOST in environment variables to the actual virtual host name when writing the environment. [Corey Oordt]

  • Added docker mysql tests. [Corey Oordt]

## 0.4.3 (2018-05-29)

### Fix

  • Changed the name of the container in the systemd template. [Corey Oordt]

## 0.4.2 (2018-05-29)

### Updates

  • Changed the naming convention of the code container to allow for easier container manipulation. [Corey Oordt]

### Fix

  • Changed the import from providers to service_providers when deleting an experiment. [Corey Oordt]

  • Changed the import of ConfigParser for python 2.7. [Corey Oordt]

## 0.4.1 (2018-05-29)

[Fix] Actually merged the 0.4 branch this time.

## 0.4 (2018-05-29)

### New

  • Provided new tests and mock SSH server. [Corey Oordt]

  • Added a local script state provider. [Corey Oordt]

  • Added secret providers to providers module. [Corey Oordt]

  • Added a version command to print the version. [Corey Oordt]

  • Added S3 state provider. [Corey Oordt]

  • Added basic secret management using AWS KMS. [Corey Oordt]

### Updates

  • Updated testing options. [Corey Oordt]

  • Provided a more robust checking for starting services. [Corey Oordt]

  • Provide better output when deleting and updating experiments. [Corey Oordt]

  • Created a standard way to set up the environment. [Corey Oordt]

  • Minor cleanup to config. [Corey Oordt]

  • Does a better job at checking if the MySQL configuration has changed and explains what has changed. [Corey Oordt]

  • Alphabetized the configuration to make it easier to look for settings. [Corey Oordt]

  • Added http:// in front of the URL of the experiment and the successful completion of a create. [Corey Oordt]

  • Refactored several common remote filesystem commands into a single module for convenience. [Corey Oordt]

### Fix

  • Better hide and some output and write the correct mode on the docker-build file. [Corey Oordt]

  • Checks if backing_service_configs is in env before using. [Corey Oordt]

  • The pruning of volumes and containers now uses the correct docker command. [Corey Oordt]

### Other

  • Added a splash page to use for a default server. [Corey Oordt]

  • Added auto section bookmarking and removed unused manual bookmarks. [Corey Oordt]

  • Update the docstring for the check services config. [Corey Oordt]

## 0.3.5 (2018-05-25)

### Fix

  • Update now sets the docker_image correctly. [Corey Oordt]

## 0.3.4 (2018-05-25)

### Fix

  • Update now sets appropriate service_name and network_name. [Corey Oordt]

## 0.3.3 (2018-05-25)

### Fix

  • Update now calls setup_backing_services. [Corey Oordt]

## 0.3.2 (2018-05-23)

### Fix

  • Included the templates for the docker provider. [Corey Oordt]

## 0.3.1 (2018-05-23)

### Fix

  • Fixed the packaging so that the provider submodule is included. [Corey Oordt]

## 0.3.0 (2018-05-21)

### New

  • Updated example testserver cloud formation file to include rexray. [Corey Oordt]

  • Added individual Docker bridge networks for each experiment. [Corey Oordt]

  • Added defaults for services, app_build_image, and app_build_command. [Corey Oordt]

  • Created a base provider class to make it easy to create different backing services using different providers. Docker mysql is the first. [Corey Oordt]

### Updates

  • Changed layout of the experiment. Improved console status messages. [Corey Oordt]

    Code is now checked out in a subdirectory named ‘code’ to isolate it from other files labtest might write for state reasons.

  • Improved the output of the check-config command. Provides better indenting and bolds the field names. [Corey Oordt]

  • Moved into a submodule to separate parts like ECR from RDS. [Corey Oordt]

  • Updated the readme to make more sense. [Corey Oordt]

  • Set the Fabric version to <2.0 since 2.0 was just released and there are significant changes required to update. [Corey Oordt]

  • Moved the functions relating to OS services into one module for consistency. [Corey Oordt]

### Fix

  • Update the makefile. [Corey Oordt]

  • Ignoring the SASS and node stuff. [Corey Oordt]

  • Removing old –links since we moved to user-defined bridge networks. [Corey Oordt]

  • Removing the redundant _setup_service. [Corey Oordt]

  • Including the instance.list command. [Corey Oordt]

  • Moved the cd command up in the docker build command template so it would be in the actual git repository. [Corey Oordt]

### Documentation

  • Fixing readable theme config again. [Corey Oordt]

  • Fix the unused import for sphinx_readable_theme. [Corey Oordt]

  • Added new zen theme. [Corey Oordt]

  • General cleanup of API docs, makefile and readme. [Corey Oordt]

  • Updated documentation. [Corey Oordt]

    • Removed some redundant PNGs

    • Updated some SVGs to show workflow better

    • Added captions to images where appropriate

    • Fixed admonitions

    • Standardized the formatting of configuration options

    • General clean up of markup to provide better formatting

  • Added napoleon plugin so I can better format my doc strings. [Corey Oordt]

  • Added a fulltoc plugin to sphinx. [Corey Oordt]

  • Moved the autogenerated API docs to the API directory in the make command. [Corey Oordt]

## 0.2.6 (2018-05-08)

### Fix

  • Change references from HISTORY.rst to [Corey Oordt]

## 0.2.5 (2018-05-08)

### Updates

  • Renamed HISTORY.rst to [Corey Oordt]

### Fix

  • Cast strings written by io.StringIO to unicode. [Corey Oordt]

## 0.2.4 (2018-05-07)

### Fix

  • Fixing another python 3 thing for Click. [Corey Oordt]

## 0.2.3 (2018-05-07)

### Fix

  • Fixing the python_requires keyword. [Corey Oordt]

  • Fixing the repositories and stuff in configuration files. [Corey Oordt]

### Other

  • Created release commands for patch, minor and major versions in the Makefile. [Corey Oordt]

  • Remove future unicode literals import due to issues with Click. [Corey Oordt]

## 0.2.2 (2018-05-07)

### Updates

  • Update to include requirements. [Corey Oordt]

## 0.2.1 (2018-05-07)

### New

  • Added create and delete commands. [Corey Oordt]

  • Added check for branch_name availability and get it when needed. [Corey Oordt]

  • Added more required configuration options. [Corey Oordt]

### Updates

  • Update the travis configuration. [Corey Oordt]

  • Updated Fabric commands to run with configured verbose setting. [Corey Oordt]

  • Updated documentation. [Corey Oordt]

  • Updated instance to use new configuration. [Corey Oordt]

  • Updated configuration. [Corey Oordt]

  • Updated tests. [Corey Oordt]

  • Updated the requirements. [Corey Oordt]

### Fix

  • Fixed the manifest. [Corey Oordt]

  • Fixed method of finding the default config files. [Corey Oordt]

  • Fixed the repo in the travis configuration. [Corey Oordt]

### Other

  • Removed references to Python 3. [Corey Oordt]

  • Python 3 compatibility, for when we can do it. [Corey Oordt]

  • Always write the contents of the environment file in case changes are made to it. [Corey Oordt]

  • Renamed hosts config to host. [Corey Oordt]

  • Add dotenv support and configuration. [Corey Oordt]

  • Initial test instance creation tasks. [Corey Oordt]

  • Add a dynamic configuration class to manage configuration. [Corey Oordt]

  • Add oyaml to requirements. [Corey Oordt]

  • Add templates for use with setting up services and building containers. [Corey Oordt]

  • Added cloudformation template for the test server. [Corey Oordt]

  • Ignore .env files. [Corey Oordt]

  • Renamed to [Corey Oordt]

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